tv Washington Journal CSPAN December 18, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EST
wartz will talk about gun control in the house legislative agenda. later, we hear from marcia howard from the federal funds information for states. she will discuss the impact of possible sequestration of the states. "washington >> mr. president, i rise with real heavy starter. our friend dan just died. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--] >> a democrat of hawaii, a highly decorated wofford war two combat veteran and the second longest senator in history died on monday. the senate passed a resolution naming patrick leahy as new president pro temps, the third in line to the presidency.
good morning, everyone, on this tuesday, december 18, 2012, as senators say goodbye to their longtime colleague yesterday, they will be welcoming a new senator from the state of south carolina. and tim scott has been tapped to replace jim demint. and the papers reporting progress being made about the so-called fiscal cliff talk. first, we return to the tragedy to discuss mental health issue in this country. what should be the role of the federal and state government if any in mental health? also send us a tweet, twitter.com c-spanwj or facebook .com/c-span or send us an
e-mail. let me begin with the hill newspaper this morning and this headline. mass murders spark wide debate on violence. congressional debate in newtown, connecticut has gone far beyond gun control to include a focus on mental health programs and pervasive violence in popular culture. lawmakers calls for an examination of those issues echo president obama who want a comprehensive approach for violence prevention that would end tougher gun laws and take on a culture of violence that many fear is ken coaching too much on american life. goes on to say lieberman is a local appropriate. the connecticut will -- jay: do the governments have a
role in this? it goes on to say as a population, people with mental illnesses are less violent than the general generation add taggert the biggest red flags for violence are being of sub stance abuser, having a history of aggression, but generalizing -- it is considered far too early to draw any conclusions. --
and this blog posting coming criticism from others this morning. read a little bit more from as that blog posting that has gone viral and has had millions of views, over two million views. don in tallahassee, florida, democratic caller. your call is first. what do you think of the role of mental health? caller: i believe that the government has to play a role and getting back to chapter 17, which meant if someone murders somebody, he said execute them, send them to me, a rapist and a murder should be executed on tv and this too, will stop.
this will continue on because we put them in prison, feed them for years. so if the government gets back to what he said, let them kill someone and show it on youtube. execute them. send them to me because a murder and rapist cannot have salvation. host: all right. dre, compton, california, republican, california. good morning. guest: i think like your record should cause the federal government to step in whether you like it or not. if you're getting in trouble, if you have a record of anger, if you have a record of social vines, i think that's when the -- violence, i think that's when the government should step in. if you're not in jail and you need help and the federal government, if you're going to be walking around as a free
citizen on the streets of our country and you have a record of violence or anger or mental problems and no one else seems to help you, then the federal government should i believe that 100% because you'll have a track record of incidents. host: ok. caller: which is what you saw on the tape right there. look at steve winn, a gentleman defamed him and said that he was going to kill this person. steve winn was going to kill this person. now steve francis, please, drugs kill people. host: all right. dre, this is the "washington journal." she writes --
host: carol in minneapolis, minnesota. what's the role of the federal government or the state of minnesota? caller: well, i feel that the state and the federal government need to have a hand in what's going on with mental health because i see people every day in the streets of minneapolis walking the streets of
minneapolis and they're mentally ill. they're talking to themselves about things and nobody's listening and nobody's seeing these things, but i for one, am, and until something is done, then the unmanageable -- unimaginable will happen and that was the unimaginable that happened the other day. host: ok. ray, rockwood, tennessee, independent caller. go ahead, ray. caller: i have got a question that nobody has ever said on tv i would like to have an answer. i want to know if this boy had been on red lynn -- ritalin when he was in school because nobody has ever asked the question or answered the question. host: with a are you getting at? he was 20 years old when this happened.
host: lori, phoenix, arizona, democratic caller. you're up next. what is the role of the federal and state governments in mental health? caller: hello? >> hi, lori, you're on the air. caller: hi, i'm sorry. i want to say that i know that they have dropped funds for mental health in arizona. i run a group home and this one lady that lived here. she was on her medication, so i thought. and then she didn't take her medications and three different times in a week, i told them. they took her away and she was at a mental hospital. and she called me at the mental hospital no see if she could come home and two out of the three times she went ballistic and i told the nurses no, i
don't want her to come back to the facility and each time within the hour, they delivered her back to the house. and one morning at 3:55 in the morning, i get a slam on the door, kicked in the front door and it's swat as well as the crisis team and they asked me if there was a lady named -- here and i said yes, she was one of the people that lived here and they asked is everybody all right? i said sure. what are you talking about? she said she called the crisis line and said she was going to slash everyone's throat. we looked and we had no more butcher's knife no, more chef's knives and they were all in her room. and finally, we had to have an order protection to get her out of the house. but the facility where she was taken, each and every time taken away by a crisis team, by a police officer, whatever, they let her come home. they let her come back. host: was it 72 hours later? caller: well, she's considered
seriously mentally ill but it's like day and night when she's on her medication and when she's not. but she has like terrific side effects, like mental problems, like homicidele and stuff like this. but once she's medicated, she's all right. i think we need to take that quick little look for that person who does not know that person and the people at home who do know what they're like and make it into a week to see how they act, how they behave. if they go -- if they go off or if they have like mental breakdown or dreams that become realities which is probably what happened in awe roar ya and god help us, in newtown.
host: ok, lori. here is a tweet from one of viewers. -- i want to get you some other headlines and get you updated on the so-called fiscal cliff and the talks that are happen hearing in washington. "chicago tribune" -- excuse me, this is about gun laws -- here's "the washington post" this morning with their headline concerning fiscal cliff --
and there is a disagreement about stimulus funding and whether or not that is included in some overall deal. we will talk more about this from a democrat from pennsylvania coming up here on the "washington journal" later on the program. but i want to stick to our topic here this morning. role of federal state governments and mental health. we'll go to an independent caller from pennsylvania. caller, what's your name? caller: hello? host: hi. what's your name, caller? caller: yes. the role of the government in mental health, i believe, should be stepped up and i think it's directly related to the health care industry in particular. the obama care or whatever type of health program is needed
because as someone said earlier, most people do not have enough financial weather withtoll be able to assist people that they know maybe in their family or in their neighbors or the communities to help them. and i'm amazed how when we hear about an event like this, people are amazed that so much vines and if you get the historical reality of this country. the country was founded on vines. i mean, we're talking about brutal savage vines. and the country has been maintained on vines. we hear about what goes on in iraq, for example. we go there. america goes there and hundreds
of children have been killed, if not thousands. but we don't see that reality until it happens here. it becomes more pressing. i think someone needs to look at -- a study needs to be done on the whole psychology of the american -- of the american people that are prerp traited as vines around the world. it's not new. caller: to me, the most irresponsible comment came on tv yesterday by a u.s. senator dianne feinstein who is rushing to resurrect a bill on gun control. the most responsible set of comments came from the n.r.a. which said at the beginning when the events begin unfolding on tv
let's wait for all the facts to come in. i'm calling as a former v.a. homeless outreach worker in rest l.a. one third of america's homeless are military veterans. every one of them could be off the street with mental health problems and so forth if the v.a. would process the claims that have been four and a half years delayed. we sue the v.a. in the ninth u.s. circuit court of appeals in may of last year. the government under obama and holder appealed that win before the three justices panel in may of last year to the full court which set aside our victory and veterans are now back to square one with no mental health issues from a v.a. under a former four-star army general who refuses to process our benefits claim. host: ok.
here is paul on twitter. my question is how will balm care -- obama care address the shortage in our country? the "new york times," front page this morning, signaling openness to limits. senator joe mansion of west virginia, an advocate of gun rights who drew attention by firing a rifle into a piece of legislation said -- and this is the "u.s.a. today" washington section --
so as our caller referenced dianne feinstein looking to introduce in the 113th congress in january that assault weapons ban reinstituted it. "the washington post" said this morning -- and then "u.s.a. today" front teenage calls for change, n.r.a., mum. facebook page which registered 1.7 million like was taken off this morning. the influence of the four million member organization makes it a major player in any
so that's the front page of the "u.s.a. today" if you're interested more in that. and also this morning, here is inside "the washington post." obama begins effort to reduce gun violence. here's a snapshot of state gun laws across the country. we'll take a closer look as we continue to get your thoughts. bill, meredith, new hampshire, republican caller. go ahead, bill. caller: hi, greta. host: good morning. caller: let's remember that justification is the lowest form of reasoning and this would be an ideal opportunity for the powers that be to take the wrong course in a problem that we face. as i said, justification. if you tear that word apart is
the lowest form of reasoning. you can always find a reason to do the wrong thing in a moment of panic. you've got to take the wrong -- host: so bill, tie this to our discussion here, mental health. caller: yes. ok. let's get back to the media that presents violence on television as a form of entertainment with all the police shows, the cop shows. violence is the main ingredient of the plots and for the people who have weak constitutional -- weak constitutions, it is an avenue that presents itself almost irresistible to that frame of mind that would bring forth violence in a person when
they're put in a corner in the fight or flight instinct comes out. do they fight or do they run? and that's easier for them in some cases to do what happened in these horrible instances with these massacres. you've got to take the big -- the wrong view and stick with our foundation and -- of not how wrong firearms but perhaps strengthen the law that -- host: all right, bill, we'll leave it there. the honolulu star advertiser courtesy of the museum. this is their headline this morning. "hawaii mourns an american hero daniel k. inouye." he changed our island forever. he passed away at walter reed
medical center in bethesda at the age of 88. these are the changes that happen immediately with the passing of senator inouye. in the pro tem is now senator patrick lelie. -- leahy. he is expected to preside over the president in the advice president. and he is the third in line behind the vice president and the house speaker. also senator leahy is now in line to head up the appropriations committee and senator frank lawsuiten berg will be the only veteran of world war ii serving in the senate in 2013.
back to our question for all of you this morning about role of federal state governments in mental health. we will keep talking about this for about 30 minutes. by the way, we have covered senator inouye here on this network for many years and, including oral history interviews with the senator, two of them, one in march 3, 2008, and another one on june 30, 1988. if you're interested in watching those, go to our website at c-span.org and go to our video library. monica, you're up next. caller: good morning. so happy to be able to comment on this really important issue. i have a mentally elson that i have struggled with all sorts of things, trying to get him some treatment and trying to make sure something like this that is happening in connecticut doesn't happen here. and it's so frustrating.
and when you find them, the waiting list is months long, and it is. it's frustrating, it's terrifying. i haven't slept much the last few days because i just keep thinking it could happen here and how can i deal with that? host: monica, do you have health insurance? caller: i have some through my husband's employer. it doesn't cover my son. he has medicaid and the resources are almost nonexistent. host: what do you mean by that? the state doesn't provide much? caller: no. there aren't many providers and when you can find them, the weight lists are months long to get in to see anybody. host: what does medicaid cover for mental health? caller: well, you can see a psychiatrist if you can find one. that's taking new patients and you can get some limited -- the
first time we qualified, we had six visits. and this was when my son was 11 years old and at that time, he was already violent. he already had a police record. we were terrified. host: terrified of him? caller: yeah. we were terrified what he might do to himself to others, to us. it was frightening. now, luckily, he seems to as he's gotten older grown out of some of this, but he still has issues. and i worry about him. i worry about all of us because if we don't address this mental health issue, things like this are going to continue to go on. i'm glad that you're talking about this instead of knee jerking to gun control because while that would be helpful, some form of gun control might be helpful. i think the bigger picture is the mental health piece and if we don't address that, we're all
in trouble. host: what should be done on the federal level, do you think? caller: there's got to be some more funding. there's got to be something done to make the services more available, easier to access and -- but there's nothing there and then that gets tighter all the time as the resources become less available from the state and federal government, the net around all of us just tightens and it's so scary. host: monica, you might be interested in this piece from sarah cliff from "the washington post" where she talks about 10 facts in the mental health system in the country. it goes on to say that the
biggest budget cuts were made to the infacility. vermont closed its only state-run hospital in the wake of hurricane irene. -- hanukkah, can you relate to that? caller: yeah, we went to community mental health sometimes in the middle of the night trying to get my some assistance. we tried to get him committed to the only facility in the area which is like hours away. and they didn't want to commit him. host: why not? caller: because all you have to do at that point is to say oh, no, i'm not going to hurt anybody. and they don't listen to the parents. they don't listen to the
caregivers. all they have to do is say no, i am not a danger to myself or others. and they say go home. host: did you read the blog posting entitled "i am adam lanza's mother"? caller: i looked for it this morning on the web. i got a little bit of it. i wasn't able to access the entire thing, boy, could i relate. it's one of the reasons why i turn on the tv and i'm talking to you now. it's frightening. parents have got it so hard right now and i feel sorry for everyone in connecticut but i can really relate to the shooter's mother. it's just awful. host: monica, if you want to find it, it's the bluereview.org. just google the blue review.org, it should pop up. but inside this piece which has come under this criticism, this author writes about being terrified of her husband, but also writes that at least we
have health insurance now. i recently accepted a position with the local college giving because we have a kid like this. because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits. you'll do anything for benefits. no individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing. she goes on to talk about getting her son put into some sort of institution. she says though i don't believe my son belongs in jail, the chaotic environment exasperates michael's sensitivity and doesn't deal with pathology -- diane, republican caller. we're talking about the role, if
anything, solve federal state governments in mental health. what do you think? >> well, i'd like to broaden and move back and look at the specific things you're asking about because when you move further away and look at broad strokes, it's plain to me to see what needs to be done. you say federal government and in very broad strokes, i'm going to say that before the revolution and when this country was under another government, one of the things that this government was established to do was to make sure that the very rich and powerful -- excuse me, i'm sorry. i'm it's been a very emotional weekend for me as well.
one of the things that it was established to do was to make sure that the rich and powerful didn't say i have mine and make sure that nobody else could gain access to, you know, things as basic as food. so i think that the federal government are -- our whole philosophy was based on that humans have rights and i believe that we need to change the discussion to say that one of the basic rights that we need to have is the assets to -- access to health care. host: on twitter -- in other headlines this morning. this is the "boston herald" online. it says despite predictions that
the presidential election could end a tie or that the winner could be denied the white house by the equatorial college, president obama anticipated 126 vote landslide monday as the 538 electors voted in statehouses. we took a look yesterday here on the electoral process and c-span covered part of that in the country in a couple of statehouses. so you're interested, go to our website, c-span.org. we mention this at the top. here is south carolina's paper, the state. we made history today. u.s. representative tim scott speaks monday to reporters at the statehouse after being introduced by governor nicky hailey as her choice to fill the vacated seat. the g.o.p. joined lindsay graham at the event. scott will be the first black senator from the south from
reconstruction. we covered that press conference and so you can go to our website, c-span.org to take a look at that. and the "politico" this morning, their headline says g.o.p. stresses scott picked for credentials, not race. so that's the headlines today in the papers on that news yesterday. and i want to update you on the benghazi report that came out of the state department yesterday. it should be made public on wednesday. here is the "baltimore sun." benghazi "rasmussen reports"s hearings are set the high level state department investigative panel turned over a secret report assessing blame in the attacks --
look for our coverage of hose public hearings on c-span. for details go to our website, c-span.org. also from the administration cabinet pick could be revealed on friday. obama's nominees for state and defense but so-called cliff talks made delay announcement. back to our topic here for all of you. sandra in massachusetts, independent caller. sandra, what is the role, if anything, of the federal state government in mental health? caller: well, they need to step right in right now and address the facts that hey, maybe one of them are like this.
they, too, who are making these laws are not governing very well because one, you don't get the drugs you need. i know that for a fact because mental health runs on -- in our family. and two, the children and stuff like that are overdrug, underdrugged, let go from the system. they haven't got it right. they need to get it right. stop turning your back on a very crucial problem. and it's got to do with the brain. and if you can't deal with it, then don't, but you know what, they need to deal with this and now. it's an immediate situation and it's been immediate for a long, long time. i mean, i know too many people that have died by the fun with and everything else, and somebody has to stop it. and we have to have some good professionals and not turn these kids loose. stop turning them loose. we need somebody to take care of them. host: sandra, this is "the
to be like finish if someone lives in a house who is mentally ill, obviously, we cannot have weapons of any kind within their range. that's what the law should be. the law shouldn't be we shouldn't just outlaw all weapons we should just outlaw anyone who is obviously with mental issues. the guy who in virginia tech, he had a depression issue. he went to a doctor and still somehow got his hands on two .9 millimeter weapons and you can't tell me that the guy in colorado didn't have mental issue. you can just look at the guy and know that there's something wrong there. we just with to keep the weapons like out of the household or how
far range for these people who have mental health. host: frank, the questions that you pose, who are the mentally ill, we will ask those types of questions tomorrow on "washington journal." we're going to have a roundtable discussion with a republican and a democrat who co chair the mental health caucus in the house of representatives, 7:45 a.m. eastern time for an hour on the "washington journal." we'll talk with the democrat and the republican co chairs of the mental health caucus. kobe in new harbor, go ahead. caller: they were talking about the mental health issue and i just want to make people aware of my point. gun control, it may seem like a really good idea tipsarevic, just ban all weapons, there's no weapons. people can't hurt issue other.
if a person wants to hurt somebody, they'll find a way. it's treatment. you need to treat the mentally ill instead of taking away the non-mentally ill's right to firearms. i always liken it when i'm having this discussion around here that if guns kill people, then pencils misspell words. host: the law on twitter. people who wonder why families do not seek treatment have no clue how impossible it can be to do. cal, cooksville, tennessee, independent caller. go ahead, cal. caller: yeah. about gun control. the mother of the mentally ill boy didn't control her guns. she has a mentally ill child, takes him out, according to the reports on tv, took him out and then taught him how to shoot these rifles and pistols and
then left these guns available for him to use if he wanted to and that's where the gun control should have been with her like the other gentlemen said who got a couple of -- gentleman said who got a couple of calls back. and then he came to the school and shot up in the door and bust out the glass and everything. and he was -- boy, he had all the protection, you know, that he needed, but the principal didn't have any protection. if she would have had a gun she knew that somebody was coming in because she heard the shots. she knew that. and she was helpless. she didn't have a gun. if she had a gun, she very well may have stopped this guy, knowing that he had a gun, probably would have shot him and saved all these kids lives. host: all right, cal, we're going to talk about gun control
and that debate. that's happening up next with john fund. and then later, congresswoman allison schwartz, we'll get her perspective on gun control. and this week's legislative agenda, including the progress on the so-called fiscal cliff but for harry reid on the floor yesterday talking about the passing of senator inouye. nevee deign owe way. no one else has. like dan inouye. no one else has. the kindness that he has shown for my time here in the senate is something i will cherish always. a man who has lived and breathed the senate. if there were ever a patriot, dan inouye was that patriot. a week ago -- a week ago last
friday, he and i spent some time together in his office, just the two of us alone. we spent an hour together. and we ended the meeting by saying, you know -- w we both said, we need to do this again. but i won't be able do it again. he won't be able do it again. a wonderful senator, brave soldier, recipient of the medal of honor, distinguished service cross, bronze star, purple hea heart, left an arm in italy. a. as he said to me that last meeting we had together, "anything other than the arm?" i got shot in the arm and in the
leg a couple times sm. host: joining us from new york city this morning, mr. fund, i just want to begin, if we could, actually, with the front page of "the washington post." in the news that president obama is looking at proposals on guns. obama asked his cabinet members for ideas to curb violence. what do you make of that? guest: well, we've been this way before. in 1994, president clinton signed an assault weapons ban into law. it expired in 2004. so we have 10 years of experience of what that ban did. and frankly, a university of
pennsylvania study looked at all of that said that while there was some slight decrease in the use of assault weapons, it did nothing for overall gun violence. assault weapons, semi-automatics are used between 2% and 8% of crimes and it said the gun ban did nothing to reduce the overall level of gun violence in this country. look, i mean, this is a very tragic situation. and it's a very emotional one. it's at least an emotional issue as abortion or the death penalty. and emotions run high here. and we have a very deeply divided country. we have a large chunk of the country that wants to focus on the instrument for these evil deeds. the gun. and other people who want to focus on the criminally insane or the criminal minds that are behind these horrific incidents. and i think we have to look at both sides of that coin. i think we have to look both at the gun issue but we also have to look at the mental health issue. and the extent to which gun
control laws are either effective or not effective. host: the "new york times" this morning editorial page, the gun challenge. reason to hope after the newtown rampage. and they write this. in fact, poll after poll has shown that n.r.a. members themselves are not opposed to measures like congressional background checks on gun sellers and gun fires. what do you make of that idea, that finding some sort of compromise between the two sides? guest: well, the one thing that i think is something that's very much on the debating table is the gun show loophole. i mean, if you're going to have background checks, it seems to me that it is legislate to legitimate the fact that you sell a gun at a gun show, you should at least have a background check as you would at the gun store. but i don't think that's what the main debate is going to be
about. that's not the senators were about. they're talking about returning to the assaults weapons ban that we had. that's old ground and i'll be honest with you. you know, the cities that have the toughest gun control laws in the country -- places like chicago are horrific places filled with violence, filled with murders that are escalating. so i think it's too simplistic an approach. we have to look at the mental health laws. you know, connecticut had the fifth strictest gun control laws of the country. 44 states had looser -- tougher -- looser gun control laws. 44 states. at the same time, connecticut was one of only six states, six states, that didn't have an assisted patient treatment program, which says that if you're showing real signs of being endangered to yourself or to the community, the state can temporarily take you under
custody and force you to take your medication. look, the extremely mentally ill are no more dangerous in the community than anyone else if they take their medication. but if you don't take your medication, you can have -- could have incidents like this and if you're not treated, you could have incidents like this. i think connecticut had a bill before the legislature last april by various doctors that said we need to be one of the states that allows involuntary medication and treatment. and it was rejected by the state because of privacy considerations. i think connecticut can't do much more to toughen its gun laws. it has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. it could look at the mentally health laws which are inadvocate to the other states that had such laws. host: this is the "baltimore sun" this morning with the graphic of the bushmaster a.r.-15 rifle which was the primary weapon used in the sandy hook elementary school massacre. the ones on the rifle, the
magazine, the ones on the rifle used in the shooting had a 30-round capacity. users of the rifle can change the barrel, stock, magazine, suggested retail price, around 1,2urks to $1,400. it's military use. some pleps in the u.s. it was founded in 1973 and bought by a capital management in 2006, headquartered in madison, north carolina, manufacturing in new york. is this kind of gun, do you think, john fund, ok to have outside of military use and by police departments? guest: well, again, we had an assault weapons ban in 1994 and 2004. there are a whole bunch of existing guns out there. one of the unfortunate facts and
i wish that wasn't the case, we had over 230 million privately owned firearms in this country already existing. millions of those are these semi-automatic weapons. banning them doesn't mean they go away. it means they go into the criminal underground market. you can steal one. you can buy one on the street. unfortunately, i know places in los angeles in california where i'm from where you can probably find one in the street corner within 15 minutes. so again, what may make us feel good may not be the most efficacious things we can do to prevent future tragedy. if we don't have 230 million privately owned guns in the country, we won't have this but we do. we do have a lot of people who have mental health problems who should have those problems addressed. we shouldn't be institutionalizing as many people as we are putting them on the streets. one third of homeless people on the streets are mentally ill. 2/3 of people on the streets are
women. this is a tragedy and we probably have to have connecticut join the other states that have involuntary treatment laws cho are not enforced very much. so yes, we should look at everything, but we should look at what has worked in the past and what hasn't worked in the past. getting people their medication, enforcing them, if necessary to take it does help and we should be sensitive to privacy concerns. we had an assault weapons banned for 10 years. as the study concluded, it did nothing to eliminate the level of gun violence. host: you write in a piece online, the facts about mass shooting. but you also talk about gun freeze zone. what point are you making here? guest: well, one of the responses that we've had in recent years to these horrific crimes has been to say we should try to make ourselves safe by making gun-free zone.
that means no one, even those who are lele allowed to carry a weapon, we say it's illegal to carry your gun even if you're an honest law-abiding citizen. well, i don't know if that's worked as well as we hoped. believe it or not, since 1950, which is covers about 60 of these mass killings by deranged people. since 1950, with the exception of the gabrielle giffords shooting in tucson last year and when my brother was deputy police in tucson, he's familiar with that case, with the exception of that case, every single mass killing has taken place at a gun-free zone where private citizens were not allowed to carry their weapons so clearly, saying a school should be gun-free, saying a shopping mall should be gun-free doesn't solve the problem. the aurora batman killer was
obviously obsessed with batman. there were a whole bunch of theaters around his home that were showing that film. he didn't pick the closest one. he didn't pick the one closest to a freeway anditcht he picked the only one in denver that had posted a sign in denver saying it is against the law as our rights of the private property owner to carry a gun here in this theater. every other theater allowed concealed carried guns into the theater. now, i have to tell you, i have no idea what the -- if the killer knew about that but there was a large sign there and he picked the one theater where he could be certain that if people were obeying the law, they wouldn't have a gun there who could stop them. and we've seen examples time and time again, pearl river, tennessee, the new life church in oregon, the lady in texas, where people have stopped the killer either in mid may hem by having a gun of their own, either a gun that was in a parked car or a gun that was in
their person. i'm not saying that's the solution for everything but declaring a gun-free zone doesn't mean that you have a gun-free violence. that gray principle -- brave principal who tried to stop him, i admired her courage but it wasn't going to stop matters. i'm not saying she could have stopped him but making sure everyone in that school was unarmed, obviously that didn't help here. host: so we should arm school officials? guest: well, the police chief of st. louis has said that we should put that on the table. i'm not saying we should arm police officials but let's at least say that just like pilots. you know, pilots can be armed. we had a long battle about that. should pilots be able to carry whens on a plane that's pressurized where you could do all kinds of damage to the plane's fuselage? and we agree that pilots should have the right to carry a weapon
on the plane. well, if that's the case, maybe we should at least consider allowing some people at the school to have the option of having, if they that's have a concealed permit to keep the gun at the school. now, we can control that. we can limit who it applies to we could make it optional, but at least the killers, and by the way, the killer as crazy as they are, plan these operations. they know everything about the area that they know the may him in. -- mayhem in. maybe they know someone at the school or the shopping mall you've gun and might be able to stop them. host: there's a column this morning that the killer's mother had access to gun. he was a gun enthusiast. that didn't help her, though. guest: no. and she obviously did not lock the weapons up and someone should have locked them up. the one thing that i think you have a responsibility to do is
if you own guns, you keep them locked up. you always keep them locked up, not because of children, it's because people who break into the house could do with them. and at least locking them up slows down the potential burglar. so yes, i believe there's an she was not acting within her personal responsibility. she had a responsibility not to take your kid out of the 10th grade and leave him at home for four years but to taken to seek treatment. he stayed at home and brooded. host: steve from new jersey, welcome to the conversation. caller: thank you for c-span. my suggestion is to fwofold.
there should be a trigger lock where the lock prevents the trigger from being fired. it should be an expensive one. not the kind that doesn't work properly but a certified trigger lock. each owner of a gun every two or three years should meet with a psychiatrist or psychologist which would certify that the owner understands the importance of the trigger lock and has to understand that it to be on every time the owner is not using the gun. host: john fund? guest: having a psychiatrist or
psychologist lecture on the importance of a trigger lock may not be the right area for their expertise. it's probably the law and for spend who can send a more effective message and psychologists. i am not an expert on locks.cktrigger host: california, sarah, you are on the air. caller: good morning. my elementary school and my sisters were all stunned. i do not believe that having guns in schools is going to make that big of a difference.
during world war ii, the country call for citizens to help train the troops with dogs and it was a successful thing. i think we need to look at putting trained police in the schools with trained handlers for the security. people can be fooled by somebody and identification doesn't mean anything at all. but a dog knows instantly. all the police in germany had trained dogs on the street. there were no robberies or assaults because people know that the dog would get them. the security is not working. children and adults need to be protected. it would be safer to have
trained dogs in every school and the malls and big theater complexes. host: we got your points. guest: i am not sure it would be less expensive to have a handle and a dog. i grew up much of my life in europe. i understand they have strict gun control laws there. the top three in terms of fatalities until friday were in britain and germany. those were often used with assault weapons. people can get access to these weapons. host: this comes from twitter.
there were some graphics this morning from "the washington post." the ban on assault weapons includes massachusetts, maryland, new york, and hawaii. 30 states require -- host: what do you make of the mental health requirements and awaiting periods? what about tightening those laws? guest: i think they will be on the table.
there is probably a loophole in the system. on the concealed carry issue -- i do not own a gun. most people who have concealed carry gun permits use them responsibly. only is the 50th state -- illinois is the 50th state. as a percentage of the population, the police officers who are trained are convicted of firearms violations at the same rate as the private citizens who carry concealed weapons and have permits. i do not think it is more unsafe to have private citizens protect us then to have the police protect us if the police cannot
get their act in time. it doesn't take more than five minutes to shoot 20 people. you cannot get the police there in time. is somebody having a gun in a parked car could save lives because somebody could go loud and gone a gun and prevented the killer from proceeding further. this will not solve everything. have we made our mental health laws too loose? have we made some lost to extreme so we cannot possibly have a weapon? host: we have this tweet from judi bee.
guest: well, that may be true. the supreme court has ruled. it will not be overturned any time in our future history saying this is an individual right for self protection. the supreme court disagrees with you. the supreme court has spoken here. host: thomas in colorado. caller: i am a 7-year-old gentleman and i am in the trades -- i am a 70-year-old gentleman. you cannot get into the door unless you put in a code.
if that school has a scanner for a weapon and bulletproof glass, that would have solved the problem. we have to do a better job of protecting the kids. host: how much something like that would cost for an individual school and who should pick up the tab? caller: the people who just died and the cities that they ran are over that. it would be expensive maybe. but look at it in the long run. we have the technology now and we should use it. host: john fund? guest: we lose between 100 and 140 every year to mass shooters.
it is horrific. the value of the lives are in accountable. -- incalcuable. you want to turn every school into a fortress, you can do that. maybe we should tighten the mental health laws first. maybe we should examine the gun- free zone law, to allow a principal to have the potential to have a weapon there. if you have a big enough automatic weapon, you can pretty much blast any dort you wanted. -- you can pretty much blast any door you want. there's not been a statement put out. do
you think they need to. guest: the nra realizes that tension is running high and they are the favorite whipping boy. .'m not a gun enthusiast this is a time for grieving. there are people that want to exploit this issue on one point or the other side. i'm happy there is a rational debate on c-span. host: center from alabama -- sandra. caller: i have two points. i had to go to the hospital. i potassium was down. my daughter came to check me out. i went by ambulance to another
hospital. it affects your mental capabilities. they had made a mistake. they make mistakes all the time on the mental health. i hope and pray they do not ban guns. it is not the guns. it is what the kids are taught. the video games that they play. my grandkids play them in the house. it does something to their minds. i put one child into detention because of some behavior. they wanted to put him on many occasions. -- many medications.
he just needed discipline. guest: sure. laws @ require medication for extremely mentally ill people can be abused. we have to be careful. we can go too far. we probably institutionalize too many people. to many people on the streets are mentally ill. we need to take care of them and to convince them to take their medication. all this is about drawing lines. you can err on in this side of the line. we have made it too easy for
people to not get treatment. the privacy laws are so tight that if you try to claim someone is mentally ill, you can easily be sued. that can be a cost of thousands of dollars. people are afraid to intervene. they become absent minded bystanders. they prefer not to look and see. they believe all the responsibility has to go to the authorities. the guy in aurora is a perfect example. 2/3 of the mass killings showed
signs of debilitating mental illness. host: teresa in oklahoma, you are on the air. caller: thank you for taking my call. i think we need to go back one more step. how about these videos and these games? i have a 12-year-old grandson. it was a video game that played plan only. his dad allows him to watch the se violent movies and played these violent, violent video games. he thinks that it's ok. i said, that is not parenting.
even if your child is not mentally ill or has a problem, what are they watching? guest: that is a good point. almost all people calling for more gun control make no mention of any restrictions of our first amendment rights. look, i do not want to control hollywood or video games. quentin tarantino has a new film out in which a bunch of white people get massacred because they are owning slaves and it is a massacre. i know the city has canceled the los angeles premiere of this film. i think some self restraint is in order.
guest: we had much more of a country that still restricted alcohol after prohibition four decades ago. that is one reason atf has fewer agents. canada tried to register the firearms and tried for over 10 years and finally dropped it. that didn't work out. i am not saying we shouldn't keep better records. fbi and other agencies should look at the background of everyone. i am not an expert in all these areas. having this debate where everybody blames the gun and everybody says it is the people involved on the other side, that
is too simplistic. we have to put everything on the table. we can debate everything. we should debate our mental health situation. connecticut does not allow forced medication for people that are mentally ill. and our gun-free zone policy, which obviously has not worked. host: "the washington post" also notes -- host: joe from maryland.
caller: my name is joe and i'm watching this on the news and everything. i make vietnam veteran with ptsd. this has headed lake-effect on me. we have to do something to prevent that from happening again. we have to look at the other side. there were 2500 instances last year were private citizens carrying handguns illegally stopped murders and thefts of other gunmen. so we cannot just slam and the terry those that are legal.
we have to give them their rights. with the video games, too. ban guns and say you cannot have a gun in the house. you can have all the video games. i have seen the children. fund.mr. guest: there is a decent devising of violence -- desensitization of violence. that will be a responsibility largely of parents. society is somewhat limited in what they can do less wants to foolishly tried to ban something. there are hundreds of millions
of video games out there. we are not going to bring them back. we can manage this problem. we cannot have a risk-free society. we have to deal with the situation as we have it. host: david writes an opinion piece this morning. he writes this -- according to a study, the number of hospital beds has plummeted per 100,000 people. is that the role of the state government to increase the
amount of beds available? guest: it is privately the role of the states. this is where liberals like the democratic legislature in states like illinois are grappling with -- we have so many of our state resources being taken now by pensions and by various wealth transfers. the basic jobs of government -- infrastructure, mental health -- are being starved of money. eventually if we let these pension programs grow, we will crowd out money for everything else we are trying to do.
we have to reestablish our priorities. that is scandalous. we do not want to go back to that time and back to institutionalizing people. but we can achieve a better balance. we should wait until somebody achieves violence -- that is often the standard that is used. we have to wait until they do physical harm to someone. that can lead to tragedy is that we have seen where people with mental health problems and nothing was done about it. host: we have this from twitter. ira, go ahead. caller: good morning. i had an experience yesterday
while traveling. served four years in the marines. i have seen my share of violence in the military and in the streets of our country. i am in my 60's. i walk up to the place. there is a young man and a young lady there. the young man is strapped. automatic pistol on his side. without hesitation, i said, good morning, young man. what is that you have on your side? gun.id, it's a "is it a real gun?"
"why do you need to bring it into this place?" "i have a right to carry in north carolina." i did not know the state law. as i went in, i ask for a seat the manager. i said, "there is a man carrying an exposed pistol on his side and it has me uncomfortable." my wife said, "be quiet." "i cannot sit here and next to this guy." my wife got nervous. "we should just leave."
"we are leaving. i am uncomfortable after connecticut. there is a young man under 30 carrying a handgun. i don't know if there is a round in the chamber. an accidental deal." if we all carry guns and somebody started shooting, there will be more people dead. tried are folks that could b to do good and miss. guest: certainly there could be abuses. people what permits have to pass various tests and training. the rate of their abuse is no greater than that of police officers.
the vast majority of people are law abiding. the restaurant has the right to say we do not want people with guns in restaurants. would it have made the caller feel better if the person had followed the concealed carry law and simply hidden it on his person? you wouldn't have known he had a gun but he would have won anyway. he would have the right to conceal his weapon as well. host: this is steve on twitter. guest: well, that was said after aurora and after getting gabby giffords in tucson.
the polls never budged after those. the supreme court ruled clearly that the second amendment is an individual right. the way to change that is to have a change in the constitution. again, you can argue with the world the way you wish it or the way in which it is. do with the realities we have -- deal with the realities we have. the firearms are not going away. what are we going to do about law abiding people that want to protect themselves and others?
that is the issue. host: another tweet for you. guest: the nra will have to speak for itself. i never understood why if you buy a gun at a gun show there should be less of a reporting of a background check then if you went into a store. most of this ground would have been there before, there it was after columbine or the cafeteria in texas. the texas incident is a tragic one. there was a woman that had a gun. she was going into the cafeteria and have begun with her.
she decided to leave it in her car. 10 minutes later, a gunman showed up and she has lived with guilt bher entire life. if she had her gun, she could of taking him out within a few seconds. we have to look at the world as it is. the firearms are not going away. host: john fund, "national review," thank you for your time. host: up next, allyson schwartz . we will turn our attention to progress being made on the so- called fiscal cliff.
then the impact of possible sequestration or any grand bargain. but first a news update. >> reports that daniel inouye who passed away wrote a personal governoro the hawaii's to request his successor. it was his last wish. the letter was hand delivered yesterday and that it is important that the senators of thoughts and words were lucid and available to us up to the last minute. an update on a kidnapped american journalist. richard engle says he believes
the gunmen who kidnapped him in syria or from any militia group loyal to the syrian government and that the captors were talking openly about their loyalty to the government. he said his captors executed at least one of this rebel escorts on the spot at the time they were taken. they were freed yesterday. the center for american progress is naming lawrence summers as a distinguished senior fellow. he will work with the economic policy team. he took office as the 27 president of harvard university. he is director of a center for business and government. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. [video clip]
>> i did not conduct a survey of gun owners. i found that very often the reaction -- your way of thinking before and after you have a gun is very different. any law-abiding gun owner realizes when he has a gun that is a huge responsibility. if use this weapon wrongly, you can dig yourself into legal trouble and cause unnecessary misery and death even to people .ou didn't intend to do harm to it makes you very careful. it would make people more careful if that all had to pass some kind of a test before they get a license to buy a gun.
you don't have to always with a gun. >> craig whitney on the history of gun control in america. saturday night at 10:00 eastern on "after words." >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome back to the table allyson schwartz. i want to begin with a conversation we were just having about gun control. the front page of "the washington post." you have senator dianne feinstein saying she will introduce the assault weapons ban in the senate.
your reaction. guest: the tragedy hit many of us personally. our hearts go out to the families and to the committee in newtown. every time we have one of these tragedies, we said we have to do something and we do not. it is time to do something about gun violence. the president is right to look at what can be done and will work to make sure that guns do not get into the hands of criminals or those that are mentally ill. the legislation did help. sure these guns -- there is no
guest: this has been the argument all along. .t's not how dangerous guns are it is the people that use them. the ease of access to guns and the notion is one that we need to refute and look at what will work and what can work. too many of us -- risk gun violence and easy access to guns. the multiple rounds and the ammunition. you want to hunt in pennsylvania. that is fine. the notion that more americans
are carrying dangerous weapons around and have access to these rifles and a long guns and they are dangerous and fire off many rounds. those are weapons intended to kill many people at one time. host: what have democrats done on gun control since the expiration of the assault weapons ban? gabrielle giffords was nearly killed. guest: the last time we took serious action was after the virginia tech shooting. there was concern about access to guns and people with mental illness that should not be able to buy weapons. there were loopholes and there was more we could do.
a lot of this is done state-by- state. you could have more or fewer protections. make sure those that cannot handle a weapon would not give them. it has been a lack of action on democrats and republicans. host: why is that? guest: the nra said we have the right to bear arms. there have been comments that encourage more americans to carry guns. we need to stand up and refutes that. one thing this terrible tragedy has done is to make sure that we are safe and our children are safe and also those who have not stood up. it is time to stand up.
we need to do something to make sure that we do not let dangers guns into the hands of criminals or those who are mentally ill. host: is that your message to read stay democrats? -- red- state democrats? guest: let's do something. we would make -- we would stand up immediately to make sure we would keep people safe because something horrendous happened. y. : not doing that when we see one horrendous tragedy in malls and movie theaters and against our own member, gabby giffords. there is no way 100%, but to
guest: i think we should look at all of those. we should talk about what would work. why does anyone need large magazines and multiple, multiple rounds? we should look at every piece of legislation that we think could make a difference in keeping american citizens save. fe. should look at those bills and others that might be suggested in ways that -- that we're doing all that we can to keep our children and citizens safe. host: let's get our viewers
involved. melvin, go ahead. caller: i wanted to get in when you had fund in. i was a commander of a swat team. people i talk about forming these individuals. there is a difference in having a gun and being able to use it when you are confronted by somebody else that is shooting at you. it is different when somebody is shooting at you with an automatic weapon and a rifle such as the ar-15. there is a lot of problems in the schools. they have the kids coming
through magnetometers and being searched prior to getting into school. some still go around and open another door so a kid can sneak a gun in that way sometimes. it requires a lot of patrolling and security and to make sure you stay on top of that. but this notion of caring a gun at having a shoot-out and will be successful is a lot of wild, wild west. work.s wn't guest: law enforcement officers have come out and said, we are out-gunned out there. many police too officer funerals for the officer was faced with a criminal who
had a more powerful weapon than he did and they lost their lives. it is unacceptable. they say they know how to use a gun. "of course we will be there." it is not a way to make us safer. we need to get the powerful guns off the street. the people carrying concealed weapons need to know how to use the weapons. host: randall, republican caller. caller: with the prevalence of violence throughout the culture, i wonder if there has been
anything that has gone into the reason behind this. if a person sees a tragic incidents in their life and started to drink, we do not make alcohol illegal. that is not the problem. it was the witnessing of the tragic events. alcohol kills many more people per year than gun violence. maybe it is not the weapon that is the problem. furtherere's something down the line that is the issue. if your guest could recite in full the second amendment. guest: it is about farming a militia. i'm all for making sure the national guard has the weapons they need to defend us.
you make an important point. there are people with serious mental illness and people that should not own guns. there are people that do not know how to handle their an ger and their rage. the issue of the treatment of mental illness and the recognition of those who need help and how did they get help and how did they have the support? how to keep them safer and themselves safer? this young man shot his mother first. .e still don't know why there is a concern. they have such easy access to guns and dangerous weapons.
they have a way to do a lot of harm. that is the debate we need to have going forward. host: we have this on twitter from theirn scott. guest: we have seen in the inner cities a buyback of guns and that is something to give people the ability say you may own a gun and there is an issue of people who buy guns and sell guns in bulk legally. i think that getting those guns off of our streets is extremely important and giving people the opportunity to return those weapons back. you can get vouchers for groceries or cash.
hundreds and hundreds of guns get turned in. i think we should do more to get the guns that are already illegally out there -- we have to make sure that people that own guns legally that they understand how to keep them away from children or from someone in their family that may not use them properly. host: i want to get you on the record about the so-called fiscal cliff. we're hearing there is progress being made. he has agreed to a less generous measure.
host: you agree with the president? guest: we will look at all of the details. the president and john boehner are talking and reaching some agreement. we have seen john boehner willing to talk about revenues and to put revenues on the table. that is a huge breakthrough. we know there will have to be cuts. we know we need to get to deficit reduction and have revenues and spending cuts. we have concerns about chang es in social security about this
discussion. there have been some concerns about that and we'll have that discussion. host: some democrats say it should not be part of the conversation. guest: i think social security should be set aside for now. we should have a serious discussion about these fiscal challenges we have. there been serious conversations about how we get savings. we're going to protect social security and the middle class and medicare for beneficiaries now who are over 65 and those turning 65. there are some demographic problems in social security and medicare. we have a lot of seniors comiong
onboard. we are looking to find savings in medicare so we can sustain the trust fund. we're seeing some give on the republican side. undo many going to care. -- medicare." that is a huge give. social security end medicare have protected seniors from poverty and has made a big difference. we are all concerned about the cost of health care. take. seeing some give-and- john bennett will go to a
republican conference this morning -- john boehner will go to a republican conference this morning. the president was reelected. we won senate seats. here is the savings to get at medicare and at other kinds of discretionary spending and here are the revenue increases we are going to see. go to work and get it done. host: does it happen before christmas? guest: it will happen. the american people will like to see it done. we need certainty. give consumers that confidence that we know where we're going
and get it done before christmas and vote on it and that would be -- host: john boehner meets to go over the latest counterproposal between the white house and the house republicans. does the president need to sell it? guest: if we have a reasonable approach, sure. some of the details, there could be some push back on some of that. we want to make sure it protect the middle class in this country and makes investments for the future. infrastructure spending is pretty important for us to put people to work.
let's get it done and getting us moving in the right direction for the future. strain to in the middle class -- strengthen the middle class. caller: good morning. host: good morning, john. caller: several things. the nra wants to frame this argument that you're either for or against the second amendment . there is a lot nuance to the second amendment that is not talked a lot about. i don't have any guns. have a son that hunts. i think the government can do a lot. look at norway or the horrible
event took place. we have been kicking this around for so long. i go back to the early 197's 1 hours a volunteer in boston -- i go back to the early 197'0's. it went nowhere can i do not know why. i have friends that hunt. their answer is to give everybody a gun. i can understand the attitudes fbout the proliferation o guns. guest: you makes several good points. there is an opportunity to take action and i agree that we should.
i have heard from sportsmen who have said -- they do not understand why anybody needs an assault weapon. as responsible gun owners, their concern about people that should never have access to a weapon. assault weapons, there is no reason for those on the streets. this is a moment for those who have not stood up for a reasonable limits on guns and the kinds of ammunition that can be purchased, the loopholes that exist now in purchases, and sportsmen and gun owners need to get together and say this is not about banning guns in this country. responsible gun ownership for hunting and sport.
guns that are intended to kill many people quickly and there is no reason for those guns across the country. host: good morning, clint. caller: hello? host: go ahead. caller: i have a comment and question. people are acting like america it is always going to be the same and everything. everybody knows there is some kind of hunger games future coming. we've seen that society can collapse. people during katrina. that is what these weapons are for.
the second amendment was never about hunting. it was about protecting yourself from a hostile government. you keep your hunting rights but you will not be able to defend yourself against a hostile government if the society collapses. host: what is your response to this? guest: i think there would be the concern per many americans to no longer rely on law enforcement. i guess you are suggesting that either we do not need a police force or that it cannot function in an emergency situation. there was good response, wonderful response on the part of emergency responders and public officials and law
enforcement to make sure that people and their property were saved during the hurricane. and in fact, we relied on each other, and the way we do that is to rely on law enforcement. if law enforcement cannot handle it because it is such a difficult situation, that is when the national guard is called out. they are trained to protect us. and the notion that we will go back to -- if there ever was at a situation where each american has to have our own source of guns into be trained and protect us from our neighbors, it is an interesting perspective but i think most americans do not share. host: aranda from -- brenda, independent caller. caller: don't you generally
think there is a problem going on tv and promoting this and promoting that about the shootings. they're watching this. they will go back and think, what can i do better than what he done? instead of just being promoted and promoted and promoted, the only ones with the answers to these questions are the people that got hurt, their families. host: paulison shorts? -- paulison shorts? -- allyson schwartz? guest: the media is providing information and we have gotten used to this automatic response. and they obviously try to get this information out and there are many information -- many situations where the information available right away is not correct. it is important for the media to get back on and say, this is not
correct. it was information that we had initially there was not right. i'd think respecting the privacy of the families who were heard is very important. it is hard to imagine anyone not being given their privacy. it is a tragic turn. these are very personal tragedies as well as national. the hunger for the information is what we are used to in the 24 hour news cycle. what needs to happen is for us and our own homes, there were moments where we sat, turn off the tv. brizard to set up on tv, but there are times when you just turn off the tv or the radio for an hour. you need to make sure that you are there for your
responsibility to report a lost or stolen gun. if the gun is used in a crime and that is a serious discussion. that is part of the discussion we need to have. is it in a safe place? you give guns away or sell it to someone else, you have some responsibility there. host: allyson schwartz returns on the ways andt
means committee. and served on a conference committee last year to negotiate the payroll tax cut. guest: we have so much work to do. the challenges in terms of economic growth. i hope that a solution leads to reasonable tax policy and protecting medicare for the future. i look for to be involved in there. host: are you going to run for governor? guest: that is something that has been suggested to me. host: by whom?
guest: there are people that are concerned about our governor. i don't want to go into those details. i'm glad people think i have the capability to do that. we to find common ground. we have more we can do together. host: you have been approached by this and you are open to the possibility of running. guest: i'm proud of where i am in congress. we will see where the future takes us. host: a possible challenge in 2016? guest: let's see where things
go. host: i will stop trying. we have a tweet from chris jones. guest: that is kind of interesting. we would not go that far. people have to get a driver's license. "this person is no longer capable of driving." if they have a medical condition that would make it not safe for them to get behind a wheel or an aging issue or something else, that person is responsible. possibly someone with a mental
illness, that if something for us to look at. host: tom, independent caller. caller: it couple of facts, number one, remind me to come back to the 1990 catastrophe and the lost decade for your party. i worked in character terror for 15 years. i want to start off with 9/11 and in syria and china with the 22 children who were disfigured and cut within less than a week. and then in syria, the 47 people that have been killed by snipers and the thousands that have been killed that our children and women. you can see them on youtube right now. i want to understand why you diminished someones comment with the purpose. rather than being critical, the
reality is a horrible situation that happened. i do not defend anything that happened at the school, but the individual data has a $100 shotgun or less -- and individual with a $100 shotgun or less, the situation would have been worse. in 1994 when you lost the assault weapons ban, you also lost the house for tenure. i will stop -- for 10 years. i will invite the listeners to look at the china situation a week ago where years and figures were cut off. guest: as you know, we do live in a society where we do feel protected and represented in government i think that is something that is diminished and there is a sense of government for us.
and but we do have a representative democracy and it is something that we should be very proud of. we compare it to countries that do not. again, i do not expect, nor would i be moving toward the banning of weapons in this country or the opera to energy -- opportunity for americans who own guns in a responsible way. but we do have over the course of the history of our country, we have looked at several security and how we can both protect our privacy and our security. how can we stay safe in our own country and protect our rights as citizens. these are not a black-and-white absolute spirit -- absolutes. we want people to be safe. making the right decision to keep our citizens and our children safe in our country,
that is the challenge going forward. which are the laws that would make us safe in our country is very important, and i would imagine to you as well. host: and here is a tweet. let's get in the last phone call if we can. and jesse in michigan, democratic caller. caller: good morning. i would like to make a couple of comments, please. i have been voting democrat ever since i was old enough to vote. but i believe the democrat party has really left the african- americans out. how is obama decreasing the cost when me and my wife will get $16 this year? host: we have run out of time
with the congresswoman. i will have a response to that. guest: that is a very important comment. joerres kelly wright, social security, medicare have kept -- social security, medicare have kept many people out of poverty and they are important to seniors across this country. and the average that seniors get is $14,000 per year. it is not a lot to live on. we have to understand that for so many singers, millions of them in this country, they rely on social security to pay the bills every day and to keep themselves out of poverty and to stay independent and self- reliant. it is something that we have to do and be very careful to protect going forward. i thank you for your comments. host: thank you for being here. coming up, we will turn our attention to the latest proposals between the white house and house republicans. we will talk about whether some
grand bargain is reached and what that means for states. and if not, what that means for state as well. here is an update from c-span radio. >> some international news at this hour, the russian defense ministry says the navy squadron has set off for the lead attorney in provision coming amid official talk about a possible evacuation of russians from syria. if russia has been the staunchest ally of the bashar assad regime. meanwhile, parliament is getting ready to adopt a measure that would ban adoption of russian children by americans. last week, president obama signed into law a bill imposing sanctions on russians who are found to be connected with human-rights abuses. and back here in the states on wall street, stock futures are edging higher on emerging signs that the white house and congress may be moving closer to a budget deal. a new proposal for president
obama drops his plan to raise taxes on individuals morning -- earning more than $200,000, and families making more than $250,000. he is now offering a new threshold of $400,000. the head of the -- ahead of the opening bell, futures are up about 25 points. those are headlines on c-span radio. >> one of the things that did surprise me a little, i did conduct a nationwide survey of gun owners, but among -- i did not conduct a nationwide survey of gun owners, but among those i talked with, i found out your way of thinking before and after you got a gun is very different. any law-abiding gun owner realizes that when he or she has started on, it is a huge responsibility. -- has got a gun, it is a huge responsibility if you use it strongly, you could get yourself
into trouble. you could cause mehserle and death even. -- cause misery and death to people you did not intend harm to. it makes you very careful. >> it should. >> and for most people it does. most people are careful and if they all had to pass some kind of test before they get a license and to buy a gun -- >> you've got to do that before you drive a car. >> and in many places they do not do that. >> author craig whitney on the history of gun-control in america. saturday night at 10:00 p.m. eastern on "book tv" afterward. it is part of four days of programming up to christmas day. host: we are talking about the
so-called fiscal cliff and the impact of any sort of deal sequestration could have on the states. let's begin with headlines. here is the washington -- the "washington post. they're getting closer to some sort of deal. let's begin with the overall march of this. they're looking at more spending cuts, one being social security or more benefits. in general, what you think this means for states? guest: as this is a balding, -- is an evolving, these proposals do not have a lot of effect on the states. the big programs for spending our social security, medicare and medicaid. what we are hearing is that medicaid is off the table and that is the only one of the three that has a direct impact on the states with the federal
share program. and the other things we are hearing are on the revenue side. and again, the direct impact on states is very minimal. host: what if sequestration were to happen? what is the biggest concern for states? if they can reach a deal, was the biggest concern? guest: the biggest concern is that states have not been able to plan for what is going to happen because they do not know. everyone says sequestration will not happen. now we are two weeks away and states have had to figure of how to plan for something that everyone is saying will not happen. but the main thing i will say about the fiscal cliff is that in its totality, it is really more of our revenues and spending. and then to an extent is about spending. the impact on states is pretty isolated and small in the scheme of the fiscal cliff. although, for the programs affected by state is significant. that is where states have focused their planning on the collection of programs that
would be subject to a sequester of 8.2% or 7.6%, current estimates. host: we will delve into data a little bit. a person might want to show our viewers what one governor had to say. a few governors came out to washington and met with the president to talk about their concerns. here's what governor mary fallen, republican from oklahoma, had to say after that meeting. [video clip] >> we want to be a part of a solution to the problems facing our nation is a much to be able to address some of the concerns around state budgets. and certainly, we understand that the discussions being held around federal cuts, whether taxes or tax reform, whether it is spending here on capitol hill, whether it is sequestration, that will have a huge impact on our individual state budget. as governors, we are comparing our state budget, which i think most of us will introduce in january or february as we begin
our legislative session. we have decisions that we need to make. host: governor mary fallon after the meeting with the white house. what did you hear there? guest: that the states want to be part of the solution and they are reacting as best they can to deal with what the impact will be at the state level. she does make reference to significant budget cuts. and it is true for the programs affected, budget cuts are sick again. where are those programs? a major area of grant areas that are affected is education. we see the largest program affected by the sequester is title 1, what we call no child left behind. the second is specialed. we have these two large education programs -- special education. we have these two large education programs that will be cut. that is a lot to cut in one year.
we have been told of a part of education plans to present back into next school year. the states are in budget negotiations right now that will try to take account of how they will try to handle the cuts in those programs. host: we have some breaking news in this. politico is reporting that john boehner plans to tell house republicans this morning in his rank-and-file meeting that he is moving to a "plan b to avert the fiscal cliff. he will put a bill on the table that high taxes to $1 million. he is not pulling out of negotiations with barack obama, but hopes this will prod the white house to negotiate further." how does this affect our taxes are done on the state level and related to these questions of whether our by you let the bush era tax cuts expire? guest: because you have 50 states, you have 50 different relationships between the federal tax code and the states. it varies.
in general, the links to the tax code are significant. if there are proposals that would broaden the base of in,, to declare that would mean states would get higher revenues -- of income, but typically that would affect states with higher revenues as well. these large numbers of tax increases that are part of the fiscal it will tend to increase state revenues as they increase federal revenues, but in much more modest level. host: i want to go back to the grant programs. here's a report put together by your group. while most states programs are subject to sequester, 24 are exempt. 76% are covered. and what do you mean? guest: we track the progress in our database and they range from medicaid at a high into very small grants compound --
grants, $5 million to $10 million. medicaid is in the area of $50 million. we went through our and tired database when they went -- our whole data base when the omb report came out. we coated each program. is it covered or not? we found that 76% of the programs were, in fact, covered by the sequestered. host: what does that mean for the states? guest: that was the a-ha moment. we went in and said, what are the dollars attached to these programs and we found was that while 76% of the programs are covered by this a customer -- by the sequester, only 8% of the funding is covered by a sequestered. we have a lot of programs. they are not the largest programs. the largest programs are largely exempt. and medicaid is the tail that wags the dog.
we see a much less significant impact on the actual dollar. host: here are grant areas subject to sequester. you go through the federal budget and funding covered by sequestration, if it happens. explain the relationship between the federal budget and state budgets. how does it work? guest: each year when the federal budget is an active through the appropriations process, included in those very voluminous bills are appropriations for this post of spending programs, grant programs. when we think about the federal government, the federal government largely does not deliver services directly. we always say its main thing is that it is a check writer. many of the checks go to individuals through social security and to providers with medicare. many of them go to services that are carried out at the state level through the state grant
programs, whether it is assistance for education to try a one and special-education c'mon or community education -- special education, or community education or transportation and development programs. host: david lee wrote a piece posted on the open court huffington post." -- "huffington post." he does save billions of dollars are at stake. while it is a small number, 18% of funding for grants, we are talking about billions of dollars? guest: it is about a $7.5 billion stake for status -- four states. the $7.5 billion attaches to the funding for states. and it is on a base of about a little over $100 billion in grants.
you would see a $7.5 billion cut. it is a very significant -- it is very significant for those grants. host: and he goes on, -- guest: i think that is a really important point, and when i tried to make to people. in some states, the defense to questor -- the defense sequester will be more important than others. every state has some skin in that game. they are procurement contracts with the defense department. they have personnel -- and on active duty personnel for the defense department. there are even a few grants in the defense department. it is procurement in particular because that is a huge area of federal spending and one that
every state has something in. the economic impact in many ways for states is more significant than the budget host: we are talking to marcia howard, the director of information funds for states. we're talking about the fiscal negotiation impact on states. the numbers are on the screen. we want to get your thoughts on this. or send us a tweet or an e-mail. or you can go to facebook as well. marcia howard, what is the fsis? guest: it is not an acronym that flows off the tom curtis gans for federal funds and an
information corestates. -- four states. what if the states took over welfare and the feds took over health care? which would have been in the state's best interest 30 years ago. what would happen? some states were able to answer a question for themselves quite well, but nobody was taking a broad view of the states as an entity. ffis came out of that debate and it was greeted by the conference of state legislatures and the national governors association. eventually spun out and set up as a subscription service that states could subscribe to and get this database of these 200 or so grant programs as well as some analysis throughout the legislative cycle that helps them plan their budgets to see the impact. most average states, federal funds account for up to 30% of
state funding. it is the largest single source of state revenue. there are the tax people that are counting the money that comes in that way and we are helping them count the money that comes from washington host: what are the most important programs for -- from washington. host: what are the most important programs that come from from the federal level? guest: we have growing programs that are not in directing with health care reform. it is a pivotal program between state and federal government. and that is why, because it has not been part of this debate at all. it is looking at what the second tier programs are. you have medicaid at $250 billion. and then the next biggest programs are in the highway area and they come in and around $40 billion. host: what are we talking about for the highways, after that?
guest: education. host: republican column, you are at first, dave. caller: it is great listening to you. and you seem like a breath of fresh air in breaking down all the nuances in how avi moneys are dispersed. -- all of the moneys are dispersed prepar. as devotional as our relenza appear to be -- as dysfunctional as our state appeared to be, how do we have them do a better job? guest: i would say that the federal government could take a page from the state playbook in how to manage a budget. 49 states live with balanced budget requirements. the 50th adheres to that kind of
structure any way prepared while states to do your -- to do very destructive things, and that of one of a cautionary tale about budget requirements, that they can require during action -- jarring action, but we see states making difficult decisions to cut programs or raise taxes when times are not so good. and then you will see expansion when times are better. i fault the premise of a little bit. host: doug in nashville, tennessee. democratic caller. caller: thank you for c-span. i would like to say that i appreciate the job you are doing as far as letting people give their comments on their a -- on the fiscal cliff.
i hope the people there in the house can compromise, as well as the white house, during a difficult time. it affects the economy tremendously. guest: thank you. host: scott in new hampshire. independent caller. caller: i would like to know if we can start a new tax program, maybe five tax or something that ends up where we still give people the money back for the labor that they work, or give them their taxes back and maybe just tax the products that we buy. and we all know that the rich buy more products and have more land and everything. why are we going back to a situation where the middle class has to pay more and more? why is it not the rich that we already give to paying its? guest: i think what we're going to see is as we are moving into the new congress, probably more significant debates around tax reform. the problem is right now is that
it is complicated. the tax code is really a bear to get through. it is not the sort of thing that lends itself well to it too weak solution or a three-week solution or even six weeks. it is more complicated than that. what we're talking about dealing with the situation the next two weeks, there is not a lot of leeway to do comprehensive tax reform. but i imagine next year there will be a lot of opportunity and a call for it. and as part of that debate, i expect we will see some proposals move away from an income based federal tax system. there's a lot of call for increasing gasoline or carbon taxes. there is a minor, but significant, a group of economists who feel that if federal value-added tax, which is more of a consumption tax like what your talking about should be on the table. i'm not saying that i think there should be a value added
tax, because i do not, but i do think that debate, should happen. host: kent, republican caller. caller: my question was -- i understand about the fiscal with and everything, but my question is, you have susan rice. she has already resigned. then you also have. clinton -- you have hillary clinton probably going through some sickness and to these concussions, and to meet, they are not doing everything they can to deal with the band of the attack. host: we are talking about a fiscal " and the negotiations to avoid it and what happens if they cannot and the impact on states.
it report has been put together and this from the report, the fiscal cliff is not a cliff. and we are hearing from the administration that the an illustration can mitigate the impact of the fiscal of. how so? guest: i will back away from that and say that on the tax side we will start to feel those effects pretty quickly. we get a paycheck and we see we aren't us -- we are paying more. but there is some discretion. the office of omb puts out these cuts to the grant programs. host: to the states. guest: and i said some time ago that we would push those cuts into the final quarter of the year, which happens to be july through september.
that will be the next school year. if we think they are born to cut a deal, if they have not cut one by january 1, then we will hold off on these cuts. what that means that there is no deal by the final quarter, the cuts could be significant. but it also means that in the short run, states may not see this steep drop in federal fund in the cliff with suggest. host: what is this chart? be careful what you wish for, outlays for grants to state and local government. what are you saying? guest: we've got to get the money from somewhere. we could look at these cuts and say they are bad. but we have to look at the outcome that would be worse than what we are facing right now. the specific charge that you are talking about is that a lot of grants to state and local
governments have been declining in the last four or five years anyway. because of the difficulty with the federal budget and also because of the increase in spending in the defense area after we went to war in iraq and afghanistan. medicaid has continued to grow and it has changed the numbers overall, but for many grant programs, their heyday was around 2004, 2003. and since then, many programs have seen annual cuts or lower funding. very few grant programs have seen growth in the last few years. we have already been in this game in reducing funding in a lot of areas. what we are looking at is an alternative that would hasten that. host: sequestration might be better for states. guest: in some ways, it could. that is where you got to be careful what you wish for. once medicaid is taken off the table, the fiscal impact on states will immediately be
minimized. host: and if medicaid is back on the table? guest: then serious concerns. how host: much? guest: -- host: how much? guest: billions. the state can get about 43%, but the federal money is about $250 billion. you could have cuts in all these other areas, but in medicaid, $7.5 billion you could get to like host: -- like a dot. host: thomas, thank you for your call. caller: i want to tell you how states balance their budgets, especially the one here in kentucky. in kentucky, we do not fund the
retirement plan of the state has for its workers. we are about $28 billion in arrears. and about of retirement program, i want to tell you about it. in kentucky, if you have 27 years of service and you are only 45 years old, you can retire. and then if you stay retired and two years, you can go back to work again and work five years and drop a second retirement plan. -- draw a second retirement plan. in addition, they have a 41 k and a stock ownership plan. guest: i think that is a really good example of a point and try to make, which is that we have seen a lot of reports in the last few years of our problems in the state pension systems. there are many significant problems in the states. in a dramatic underfunding of
state pensions and states not putting inadequate resources to fund the plans in place. and in some cases they are enhancing the plans as a negotiating point on other issues. you know, we cannot give you a raise, but we will sweeten the pot on the pension side. we have seen a lot of not great practices in the pension. with state and local government. but in response, the last few years have been rife with state legislatures and state administrations going into their pension plans, making adjustments, changing the rules. the thing with pensions is that you cannot change them so easily for current retirees. or even current report -- current employees. savings will not hit this year or next year. they may not hit for 10 or 15 or 20 years. but they have responded and have taken steps to write those systems prepare -- to right those systems.
again, there are 50 states and not every state has dealt with as well. but on the whole, states are grappling to deal with this problem. host: tom, independent caller. caller: every time they have a problem with the budget begorra after social security and medicare. not once have i ever heard any congressman, suggest cutting their pension plan. host: why is medicates supposedly off the table for these negotiations? guest: i think it is off the table because -- largely because as we understand it, or what we have been told is that the administration took it off the table and a lot of it is in response to the supreme court ruling this summer, the affordable care act, that said you cannot penalize states if they cannot --
if they do not expand their medicaid program. many states's response to that is that we are not going to expand our medicaid program. we do not trust that going forward, he will continue to pick up 90% of those costs. -- the federal government will continue to pick up 90% of those costs. it could drop. the administration wants to will buster the current medicaid program to demonstrate to the states that the federal government -- wants to hold fast to the current medicaid program to demonstrate to the states that day will hold up to the current deal. host: here is a tweet. what you think of the cuts, what form will they take? guest: medicaid cuts is an area where it is difficult for
states. they do feel compelled to try to replace those cuts. the only really way that states have it is to be turcotte eligibility or cut provider rates. -- is to cut eligibility or to cut provider rates. some states have stayed far left then, let's say, providers of medicare. it is of a cold for states to make up -- difficult for states to make up those cuts. host: here is another tweet. how much more painful the states with big defense contractors feel? guest: we have a table at the back of the report and you can see it there is a $34 million -- the billion dollar cut in economic activities. those are not direct flows the board tuesday treasurys. is money that flows into a state economy.
-- that goes into state treasuries. is money that flows into the state economy. but it is a cut in economic activity around the fence. it is significant in states like virginia and north carolina and maryland and washington d.c.. -- washington, d.c., host: independent caller, you are up next. caller: i have two questions. first, i'm not an independent, not a republican, and not a democrat. i am a constitutionalist and if it is not in the constitution, it should not be in the government. in mai-mai con this so-called smoke and mirrors that you call the fiscal could, if -- in my mind, this so-called smoke and mirrors a call this ", if we went of the clackum --
off of the cliff, what would happen? guest: we did go off a cliff when we started dealing with these large deficits. there's a lot of debates around when you should or should not allow deficits. the recovery act of 2009 and 2010, which actually increased grant funding significantly from most states. every state. it did create a huge budget problem in washington, but also mitigated the impact of the recession because there was all of this federal money flowing through the states to help bolster the economy host:: -- economy. host: here is a tweet. guest: states are often concerned about the notion of unfunded mandates. what happens when the federal government would like to do something, but the federal
government does not really have the money to do it, so it requires and the states have to carry out those programs. from the federal perspective they would say, we are really putting our conditions on aid. in order to get these federal monies, you have to follow a set of rules. states are free to walk away from federal monies in all of these areas if they choose to do so. but in truth, medicaid states get at least 50 cents of every dollar paid for by the federal government, and in many cases much more. host: to result in tennessee, democratic caller. -- teresa in tennessee, democratic caller. caller: with everything going on in washington now where the parties cannot make up their mind and agree common -- and agree, i think it should be made into law and give them a certain time to get the job
done. if they cannot get the job done, then it should be put back to the voters again. host: we will take your comments and move on to debora. in meridian, mississippi, go ahead. caller: i am a new gun enthusiasts. i love my new guns. i recently added to the economy lately. i recently purchased some. how host: does this relate to our topic of the fiscal cliff and state budgets? caller: i was listening to the beginning and your talking about -- i want a gun safety -- a gun safe deduction on my taxes. host: we will go and to linda. democratic caller. caller: i want to know how the
system of adoption -- not adoption, but the parents that take the children. when you are taken from parent and given to foster children, i'm wondering -- that system seems to be well- founded and -- well funded. why is that readily available and spendable at the drop of a hat? guest: foster care and adoption assistance is one of the federal grant programs but those two states. as it turns out, it is exempt from sequestered. why? many what are called mandatory programs are exempt from sequestered. a mandatory program is a program where greta van appropriating a set amount of funds each year --
where rather than a pretty set amount of funds each year, the people that run the program guarantee enough funding to meet the demand. foster care and adoption systems are such mandatory programs. they are outside of the sequestered. the funding has gone upper also because ... -- got up and also because they are very popular. host: on twitter, white on any of these losses sunset after we try them out? and also, i am against any compromises with republicans. let us go off the cliff. next caller. caller: i wanted to ask your speaker what the v.a. has to look forward to. i am a disabled veteran and as
an independent, i strongly supported president obama. one of the reasons was his strong support continually for the va. can you tell me what the of look for funding for the v.a. is? guest: the v.a. is the summer we have seen growing support on both sides of the iowa and from the -- both sides of the iowa and from the administration. there will be efforts to protect the va from cuts, but also that is one of the areas where you will probably see some additional funding. that will mean taking it away from somewhere else, probably. but my sense is that the v.a. is pretty popular and enjoys wide support. host: here is a piece written in today's "wall street journal." the hurricane has produced the biggest effort in the nine states in the u.s. since 2005.
this is what is looking like. homeowners are being offered up to $10,000 in emergency repairs. where the worst flooding was received, $135 million in rental assistance. a total of 9500 families or individuals have checked into votel paid for by fema. and the small business administration has approved about $245 million in low- interest loans. overall, what does that mean for states in disaster relief? guest: disaster relief is tricky. most of them benefit individuals. the aid in general will help homeowners. and then the other types of aid will be areas where it might be the army corps of engineers where we are going in and doing infrastructure improvements to shore up levees, to replace the public infrastructure that has been destroyed. that is often the federal activity. the main area where states see
impact from fema assistance is in the community development block grant. that is a block grant that cities use largely. it is very flexible. they can use it to help in their recovery efforts in the most flexible way possible host: new mexico has two air force bases, two national research allowance, and many folks are dependent on federal money for work and assistance programs. for her. -- it will hurt. , democratic caller. caller: explain the logic behind what taxing one of our biggest corporations, which is the religious work -- religious churches and all of that that make $10 trillion a year.
and also, how come medicare pays for -- i think it is $1 billion now -- a formula enhancement drugs. that is a pleasure, not a need. -- for male enhancement drugs. that is a pleasure, not a need. host: independent caller, go ahead. caller: i would like to bring up the point that you have brought of the federal portion of the moneys and the money does not go -- come out of nowhere. that is the tax dollars, or has been borrowed, were printed. that money is not without cost. i would like to have your opinion on that. thet: you're referring to state's share that has to match
the federal dollars, and yes, it has to come from somewhere. we have seen when no child left behind was first put in place, there were many requirements tied up in that. reporting, adequate yearly progress, and new concepts that states would have to report on it in order to comply with the federal funding. and there were states at the time that said, this is crazy. we do not get enough federal money to make it worth it. and quickly, the federal government to back off and put more flexibility in balad so it would not be so -- in the law so it would not be so typical for states to comply. -- a difficult for states to comply. if your only coming up with 25 cents on the dollar and getting the benefit of providing that system in that way, it is a small price to pay.
it is hard. they talk about walking away from it, but to date, have not seen many states. there are a few that do not participate in some of the smaller grant programs. but as far as the largest grant programs, so far, no states have turned the money down. host: david in wilmington, north carolina. the house is about to go -- come in. we will get your comment quickly. caller: my understanding of the constitution is that the house of representatives would pass a budget and then the senate would pass it and then it moves on to the president for approval. why is it the john boehner -- they are having conferences and then he goes back. something is upside down without. without.